Avro Anson History
The Anson first flew in 1935 and went on to serve in a wide variety of roles during the Second World War. Over 11 000 were built and the Anson was still flying for the Royal Air Force in 1968.
Although used primarily as a trainer when first delivered to the RAF, it served operationally in the early years of the war as a light bomber and coastal patrol aircraft. During the evacuation of Dunkirk, Ansons were used aggressively to protect the beleaguered British troops. During this operation one Anson was attacked by ten Messerschmitts but managed to shoot down two and damage a third before the action was broken off. However, the Anson was severely limited in range, fire-power, and bomb load and was soon limited to training, transport, and other non-comat roles.
The Avro Anson MK I was to be the standard twin-engined trainer for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. By May, 1940 British production could not keep up with the demand for aircraft in Canada and Federal Aircraft Ltd. was established in Montreal to produce the Mk II version. In August, 1941 the first Canadian built Anson flew. It featured the considerable use of plywood to save stocks of steel and aluminum for other purposes. A total of 2,882 Mk II Ansons were built during the war by Canadian Federal Aircraft Ltd. The aircraft played a vital role in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.